After seeing a number of desks with steel frame bases and wood tops at places like Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn, I decided I wanted to have one for my office without the $1k+ price tag. This DIY project became an excellent excuse to buy new tools and learn how to weld. My timing couldn’t have been better. Artisan’s Asylum (Somerville, MA) had just opened its doors and was offering TIG welding classes (among many other classes) for a very reasonable registration fee of $200. After four fun 3-hour Saturday classes with Skunk (the welding instructor), I knew enough to be dangerous. Once I finished my design, I purchased ¾” square tubing from metalsdepot.com for just under $90 (this included the fee to cut the tubes to length, which I highly recommend to save time). I spent a Saturday welding the parts together, and used steel wool to clean the surface before spraying several coats of a satin finish clear enamel.
For the tabletop, I chose white oak and found a local woodworker on craigslist with very reasonable rates. For just under $100, I had 1” thick oak planed to 0.8” (see gallery photos), and had more than enough wood to make the 30” x 70” tabletop and shelves. After several hours of sanding and several satin finish polyurethane clear coats, the top was ready. For the finishing touches, I cut the shelves to fit inside the triangular prism steel base and added a thin wood strip underneath the base to protect the floor.